Peering through the sack’s netting, Kaoru saw the warm, bright lights of Kashiwazaki City fading into the background.An hour later, he was transferred to a ship idling offshore and forced to swallow several pills: antibiotics to prevent his injuries from becoming infected, a sedative to put him to sleep, and medicine to relieve seasickness.
Constant abuse In another incident, military forces raided the Yeokjeon district of Pyongson, the capital city of South Pyongan province, and took into custody 22 women working as prostitutes, he said.“All of them were soldiers except for four college students and another civilian,” he said.“Female soldiers suffer constant sexual abuse from their male commanders, and they often leave their barracks at night to earn money through prostitution,” the source said.“This is because of an inadequate supply system in which the General Rear Services Department of the NKPA cannot even solve a shortage of sanitary napkins,” he said.
Meanwhile, women conscripted into the quasi-military construction brigades called “storm troopers” suffer further horrors, a source in North Hamgyong province told RFA.“Everyone knows that storm trooper commanders above the company level bring women around called the Pleasure Group, and women who reject their commanders’ demands are assigned to the most difficult workplaces,” the source said.
Kim’s husband, pay between 20 to 30 times their tiny monthly salary not to work. That’s double what her husband would earn in an entire month, were he to get paid. A kilo of rice is something between 5,000 to 7,000 won.” He was paid only six times last year, he says, but as he points out, his salary is largely meaningless. This has happened to between five and seven men I know.”The North Korean authorities are currently employing various means to encourage frugality, an idea which has recently come to include ‘kwanhonsangje’ (the four ceremonial occasions; coming of age, marriage, funeral and ancestral rites).
They make the payments in order to be classified in what are known as “August the third units,” who can trade privately. “I get paid 1,200 won a month,” complains another interviewee, Mr. Kim and who has an office job in a state-run company. North Korea’s government has become dependent on free labor from its citizens. Men have become mute.” That muteness has become a matter of survival. Kim describes what happens to friends whose wives have left them or died: “Men without wives become beggars. In recent years there has been official criticism of the fact that engagement ceremonies, wedding gift exchanges between families and even the table for ancestral rites have become occasions full of over-spending, empty formalities and vanity.
Otherwise, privileged and high-class people preferred arranged marriages," he told RFA.